A jk through 12 independent school in Charlotte, NC

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Meet Our Faculty

More than 200 dedicated educators and administrators make up Country Day's full-time faculty and staff, a diverse team of professionals who love what they do. Working in close collaboration with each other, they are profoundly committed to discovering the key to each student's talents and abilities, and to helping each other grow in character, intellect, and confidence. Read about our faculty professional development opportunities.

Faculty Facts

Faculty Honors


Full-time faculty members


Average student / faculty ratio


Are published writers


Average years of teaching experience


Average number of years at Country Day


Have received travel grants to 37 countries


Engage in professional development each year


Hold advanced degrees


Serve as advisors to students

Advanced Placement Exam Readers

Klingenstein Fellows

Tandy Scholars

Arts & Science Council Grant Recipients

National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Recipients

World Affairs Council of Charlotte Scholars

Dreyfus Master Teachers in Science And Math

GTE Grant Recipients

Yevgenia Arutyunyan Upper School History

Yevgenia Arutyunyan

Upper School History Teacher and Department Chair
Joined Country Day: 2000
Education: BA in history and Hearst Teaching Fellow, Davidson College; MLA, Wake Forest University Classes taught: World History I, Honors World History II, World Religions, International Relations

The more I teach, the more I want to be in the classroom. But I also like teaching outside the classroom and taking students on trips abroad to places like Italy, Chile, Russia, and China. There is something magical about teaching what we learned about Qin Shi Huang Di and his rule while standing on top of the Great Wall of China!

I love modeling for young people and showing them my passion for world history. I do this by providing anecdotal historical information and showing them photos of places that I have visited, while sharing travel stories that pertain to our curriculum. They are surprised to discover historical curiosities, like how it only took a few years to build super structures that were constructed thousands of years ago.

I believe there's value in teaching world history as a cultural subject. I incorporate a lot of art and social history into my teaching. My students are surprised by how artistic expression is tied to history and are fascinated to see how a painting like The Death of Marat by David was a political propaganda tool. My favorite 'aha' moments come when students realize that what we do is not just to "torture" them, but has a real and practical value. For example, they think completing notecards and outlines is considered "busy work" until they realize how much it helps them write their papers!

I also try to hook them on their duties as citizens. Last year when I officially became a U.S. citizen, 30 of my students came to my swearing-in ceremony. It meant a lot to me to have them there—my Country Day community filled the room!

Simon Keilty Eighth Grade Science

Simon Keilty

Eighth Grade Science Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2006
Education: BA in biology with a minor in African studies, Colorado College

What drew me to teach science at Country Day's Middle School? Along with the kind students that I met during my interview and the supportive administration, it was the creek. After all, water supports life and it's an amazing natural resource available to our students right here on our campus. I'm a big proponent of the scientific process, so each month our students collect water chemistry data on the creek. Collecting data on natural phenomena like this is much more meaningful for young scientists and leads to improved critical thinking. Improved opportunities for creative thinking leads to asking questions, which leads to more experimentation and even greater discovery.

During our Storm Drain Mapping Project, my students examine different types of pollution on campus. They take GPS units to map the latitude, longitude, and elevation of the storm drains in our school community. After importing their personal data into Google Earth, the eighth graders discover that the storm drain system is based on the topography of the land and that each outfall is located at the creek. They are able to see first-hand that when our land is polluted, our creeks get polluted, too.

I love to witness our students searching for practical solutions to our campus waste stream and then present their tested solutions to the administration. Recently the eighth graders presented two years' worth of their data to lobby successfully for composting in the cafeteria. As a result, Country Day's Middle School is commercially composting and recycling its kitchen waste. Through their own discoveries, students learn that they can institute positive, lasting environmental change.

Chris Gawle Upper School Science

Chris Gawle

Upper School Science Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2002
Education: BS in biology from Bates College; MS in marine sciences, University of Charleston
Classes taught: 9th grade Biology, AP Environmental Science, Environmental Issues, IB Environmental Societies, Marine Biology

I want my AP Environmental Studies students to leave for college feeling ready to handle an undergraduate thesis. My juniors and seniors do exactly that in their Eco-Column Project. Partners build an ecosystem, add a global problem—such as acid rain or climate change—and then analyze the environmental impact.

Students write mini-proposals, conduct their own research, analyze their data, and collaborate on their findings. They learn how to handle large amounts of complex data, and I teach them how to present their information correctly in tables and graphs. By the end of the process, they've completed a 20–30 page college-level paper and gain the confidence to do well in college science courses.

My ultimate goal is to prepare them to write the best reports in their college classes. Every year, I receive these resounding e-mails of affirmation from my former students. I love hearing that they're successfully preparing lab reports in their college science classes and that their professors are using their reports as examples to the rest of the class.

Peter Floyd Seventh Grade Spanish

Peter Floyd

Seventh Grade Spanish Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2001
Education: BA in comparative literature and MA in English, Gonzaga University

My job is to get students to adopt the language, to make it their own, to help them realize they would somehow be impoverished if they spoke only English. In my mind, a foreign language is theirs if they think about it on their own time. I love it when they tell me that they've been using their Spanish outside of class.

The best classroom moments are those when the students forget they are "learning stuff." There are times they get passionate about a topic—such as the dress code or boy-girl relationships—and want to get their point across, but they are struggling with the language. That's when I can help them make their point. The key is, it's their point, not mine! It's not the teacher forcing them to memorize dry rules about direct and indirect object pronouns. The irony is that when I help them make their point, they're wide open to learning all the material because it enriches their lives.

When I was growing up, my dad was a professional explorer making maps in South America for the oil industry. We lived all over—Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil. A lot of my friends spoke at least two languages. Having spent more than half my life outside the United States, I believe strongly in encouraging kids to stay with a foreign language long-term because I've seen the benefits in my own life.

RC Deer Eighth Grade Math

RC Deer

Eighth Grade Math Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2011 and 2005–2008
Education: BBA in accounting and M.Ed, University of Notre Dame

Most conversations I have regarding my chosen profession go something like this:

A new acquaintance says, "What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a teacher."

"What do you teach?"

"I teach math."

"Oh, I hated math. What grade do you teach?"

"Eighth grade, so I teach algebra."

"You spend your days teaching algebra to teenagers? Are you crazy?"


Occasionally, I think the answer is yes, but the opportunity to help young teenagers learn, grow, think, care, and ask why, is the best job in the world. The more often I have this conversation, the more I am convinced I have made the perfect career choice.

What I love the most about teaching algebra is the "ohhhhh" moments where the proverbial light bulb goes on. Algebra is very abstract, so when I see those moments of clarity happen for my students, I know I've given them a foundation that they can go anywhere with. Why wouldn't I want to be that teacher who helps young teenagers take that leap into the unknown?

It's their effort that helps them solve problems. The sense of accomplishment and the pride they have because they have completed a hard task—one where they made all of the right connections—is priceless. When I see those "ohhhhh" moments, I realize why I love what I do.

Taryn Page Lower School Science

Taryn Page

Lower School Science Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2007
Education: BA in biology and minor in English, Colby-Sawyer College

I love providing hands-on science activities because they get to the heart of curiosity and there's no better way to help my students learn. In our bird study, I can tell first graders about the anatomy, communication, diet, and habitats of birds—which is all very important to know, but when they learn by doing, they learn so much more.

I developed the "Bird Beak Buffet" in the science lab, which serves six different types of "food" that birds eat: "fish" (in the form of straws), "frogs" (marbles), "worms" (rubber bands), "flying insects" (rice), "fruit" (ping pong balls), and "seeds" (beans). By using tweezers, clothes pins, tongs, nutcrackers, and spoons representing different bird beaks, my students explore how much "food" they can collect with their varying "beaks." Through this activity, the students are able to learn first-hand about bird beak diversity, habitats, and diet.

My passion for science comes alive when my students are learning by doing—and making connections and discoveries while having fun in the process.

Charlotte Country Day School
1440 Carmel Rd Road, Charlotte,
NC North Carolina 28226
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